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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Egypt’s political scene was “not ready” to provide serious presidential candidates, El Sisi says

Egypt’s political scene was “not ready” to put forth serious presidential candidates, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said in a documentary-style interview with director Sandra Nashaat that aired yesterday. The president said he had wished several contestants had tossed their hats into the ring and that he should not be held responsible for candidates dropping out. He laid the blame instead on unprepared political parties. The president als stressed that he is “not against people speaking their minds” but said that the media highlights issues that “are not fitting” for Egyptian values or that should not be discussed. On terrorism, El Sisi said that the country will never be able to completely weed it out, as is evidenced by many countries’ inability to do so, but bringing stability “after the past seven years” continues to be a priority.

El Sisi announced that he will launch a 14-year program this year to overhaul the country’s educational system and encouraged universities to establish partnerships with international institutions to improve the rankings of Egyptian schools. The president also touched on economic challenges including the booming population growth, and praised the Egyptian populace for enduring tough reforms.

El Sisi also downplayed the military’s involvement in the economy, repeating his previous claim that the military’s activities account for 2-3% of the country’s GDP.

You can watch the full interview here (runtime: 59:38).

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